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Abstract Art Quotes


"All good art is abstract." - John Newman

"I can never fathom it when people say things like "I can't understand abstract art!" Or: "Abstract art is junk!" Or: "Abstract art isn't as valid as realism!"" - Derek R. Audette

"Art is only abstract when you look the other way." - Karen Elizabeth Gordon

"All good art is abstract in its structure." - Paul Strand

"My art is not abstract, it lives and breathes" - Mark Rothko

"There is no such thing as abstract art, or else all art is abstract, which amounts tot the same thing. Abstract art no more exists than does curved art yellow art or green art." - Jean Dubuffet

"All art is abstract, because art is an abstraction of the truth." - Milford Zornes

"Abstract art: a construction site for high fashion, for advertising, for furniture." - Adrienne Monnier

"abstract art is not the creation of another reality but the true vision of reality." - Piet Mondrian

"In every landscape should reside jewels of abstract art waiting to be discovered." - Melissa Brown

"One of the most striking of abstract art's appearances is her nakedness, an art stripped bare." - Robert Motherwell

"Abstract art has helped us to experience the emotional power inherent in pure form." - Anton Ehrenzweig

"Abstract art is a fundamental distrust of the theory of reality concocted by the eyes." - Robert Breault

"The works of 'abstract' art are subtle creations of order out of simple contrasting elements." - Jan Tschichold

"It looked like lively abstract art. Symbols in search of context." - Jeff Vandermeer

"Abstract art: a product of the untalented sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered." - Al Capp

"The more horrifying this world becomes, the more art becomes abstract." - Ellen Key

"Abstract expressionism was the first American art that was filled with anger as well as beauty." - Robert Motherwell

"Beauty is a type of art everyone is trying to perfect, but no one realizes it's abstract art." - Keaton Stromberg

"To abstract is to draw out the essence of a matter. To abstract in art is to separate certain fundamentals from irrelevant material which surrounds them." - Ben Shahn

"I'm not an abstract artist; I leave that to others. To me, abstract art ended with Kazimir Malevich's 'Black Square.' To continue it is senseless." - Jonas Mekas

"I don't do abstract art because I don't find it as interesting as I do subjects and depictions." - Claes Oldenburg

"Lenin thought abstract art was a conspiracy by the bourgeois to demoralize the proletariat. Yeah, socialist realism!" - Carl Andre

"Art has to be incredibly layered. Symbols, signifiers... layers that relate. Combine signifiers with more abstract notions. Push! Vary lines." - Kay WalkingStick

"There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality." - Pablo Picasso

"Abstract art is uniquely modern. It is a fundamentally romantic response to modern life - rebellious, individualistic, unconventional, sensitive, irritable." - Robert Motherwell

"Realism' has been abandoned in the search for reality: the 'principal objective' of abstract art is precisely this reality." - Ben Nicholson

"We are not talking about a new cognition in relation to abstract art, rather a new area of cognition..." - Asger Jorn

"The art of avoiding extremes is an art that is drawn on the canvas of maturity and painted with the abstract strokes of many experiences." - T D Jakes

"The more horrible this world (as today, for instance), the more abstract our art, whereas a happy world brings forth an art of the here and now." - Paul Klee

"Everybody knows that abstract art can be art, and most people know that they may not like it, even if they understand there's another purpose to it." - Roy Lichtenstein

"It has been the giver's intention to create as complete a collection of European art as possible, with the aim of illuminating Surrealism and Spontaneous-Abstract art." - Asger Jorn

"We are all hungry and thirsty for concrete images. Abstract art will have been good for one thing: to restore its exact virginity to figurative art." - Salvador Dali

"People understand what art is supposed to look like, and so it's easy to make something that looks like art but isn't - especially in an abstract form." - Lucien Smith

"What interests me is all the stuff that goes into abstract and abstract-figurative art. Not the styles, but the stuff that, in various combinations, make the styles: mixing and matching painting methods and ideas." - Ed Askew

"Any combining, mixing, adding, diluting, exploiting, vulgarizing, or popularizing of abstract art deprives art of its essence and depraves the artist's artistic consciousness. Art is free, but it is not a free-for-all." - Donald Judd

"The one object of fifty years of abstract art is to present art-as-art and as nothing else, to make it into the one thing it is only, separating and defining it more and more, making it purer and emptier, more absolute and more exclusive - non-objective, non-representational, non-figurative, non-imagist, non-expressionist, non-subjective. the only and one way to say what abstract art or art-as-art is, is to say what it is not." - Ad Reinhardt

"Abstract understanding doesn't mean arbitrary sloshing and messing. Abstract art is controlled visual magic based on laws and methodology. Abstraction generally involves implication, suggestion and mystery rather that obvious description. Like a good poem, a good abstraction attacks your feelings before your understanding. Abstraction within realism adds zest and excitement to otherwise dull subject matter. Abstract understanding takes time and patience." - Robert Genn

"Art lies in concealing art." - Ovid

"Some people who look at abstract art say 'I could do that.' A good response is, 'Go ahead but then you'll be accused of copying." - Christopher Willard

"Art - when it is really doing what it should do - teaches abstract thinking; it teaches teamwork; it teaches people to actually think about things that they cannot see." - Bill T. Jones

"It [abstract art] should be enjoyed just as music is enjoyed after a while you may like it or you may not." - Jackson Pollock

"Nature and abstract forms are both materials for art, and the choice of one or the other flows from historically changing interests." - Meyer Schapiro

"The movement of abstract art... bears within itself at almost every point the mark of the changing material and psychological conditions surrounding modern culture." - Meyer Schapiro

"I understand abstract art as an attempt to feed imagination with a world built through the basic sensations of the eyes." - Jean Helion

"But nobody is visually naive any longer. We are cluttered with images, and only abstract art can bring us to the threshold of the divine." - Dominique de Menil

"There's art on the show that's really bad - these cliche Abstract Expressionist gestural things. It's almost like extensions of my performance, because in the scene I'm really mad." - James Franco

"I wore one of my Tanguy earrings and one made by Calder in order to show my impartiality between Surrealist and Abstract Art." - Peggy Guggenheim

"We live in an age when the traditional great subjects - the human form, the landscape, even newer traditions such as abstract expressionism - are daily devalued by commercial art." - Andy Warhol

"I was an art history major, but never specifically contemporary. I would say where I really stopped were the abstract expressionists in the New York school." - Vera Wang

"I admire the abstract expressionists and pop artists so right now I'm referencing American '60s art and at the same time referencing Japanese manga culture." - Christian Marclay

"From the point of view of art, there are no concrete or abstract forms, but only forms which are more or less convincing lies." - Pablo Picasso

"It is sometimes forgotten how much wit there is in certain works of abstract art. There is a certain point in undergoing anguish when one encounters the comic." - Robert Motherwell

"Abstract art places a new world, which on the surface has nothing to do with 'reality,' next to the 'real' world." - Wassily Kandinsky

"Abstract art is a creative interplay between the conscious and the unconscious, with the conscious mind making all the final decisions and in control throughout." - Lawren Harris

"Abstract painting is abstract. It confronts you...." - Jackson Pollock

"Abstract art is only painting. And what's so dramatic about that? There is no abstract art. One must always begin with something. Afterwards one can remove all semblance of reality; there is no longer any danger as the idea of the object has left an indelible imprint." - Pablo Picasso

"Art is always more abstract than we fancy. Form and colour tell us of form and colour - that is all. It often seems to me that art conceals the artist far more completely than it ever reveals him." - Oscar Wilde

"Abstract art as it is conceived at present is a game bequeathed to painting and sculpture by art history. One who accepts its premises must consent to limit his imagination to a depressing casuistry regarding the formal requirements of modernism." - Harold Rosenberg

"I think we're much smarter than we were. Everybody knows that abstract art can be art, and most people know that they may not like it, even if they understand there's another purpose to it." - Roy Lichtenstein

"Realism and Naturalism rely mostly on the eye of the flesh. Abstract, conceptual and surrealistic art rely mostly on the eye of the mind. Great works of art rely on the eye of contemplation, the eye of the spirit." - Alex Grey

"What goes on in abstract art is the proclaiming of aesthetic principles... It is in our own time that we have become aware of pure aesthetic considerations. Art never can be imitation." - Hans Hofmann

"... scientific research is compounded of ... empirical procedures, general speculative ideas, and mathematical or abstract reasoning." - James Bryant Conant

"Sisterly love is, of all sentiments, the most abstract. Nature does not grant it any functions." - Ugo Betti

"I paint abstract expressions." - Billy Zane

"I try to conceal art with art." - Jean Philippe Rameau

"Art functioning as propaganda is not art." - Leonard Nimoy

"What thou art, that thou art." - Thomas A Kempis

"Art is art, and journalism is journalism." - Lance Reddick

"The buttocks are the most aesthetically pleasing part of the body because they are non-functional. Although they conceal an essential orifice, these pointless globes are as near as the human form can ever come to abstract art." - Kenneth Tynan

"I want to see abstract art move. Especially in the '30s, you had animators doing innovative work, and I was entranced by that. It's basically what you see when you close your eyes, when you fall asleep." - Michel Gondry

"Just as a chemist "isolates" a substance from contaminations that distort his view of its nature and effects, so the work of art purifies significant appearance. It presents abstract themes in their generality, but not reduced to diagrams." - Rudolf Arnheim

"I do not see any essential difference between abstract and primitive art. Both are simple and sincere. Naturally, we should not generalize in these matters: It is the individual artist that counts." - Vladimir Nabokov

"Nothing as drastic an innovation as abstract art could have come in to existence, save as the consequence of a most profound, relentless, unquenchable need. The need is for felt experience - intense, immediate, direct, subtle, unified, warm, vivid, rhythmic." - Robert Motherwell

"These days people believe they can go into art and make a living. We didn't have that. The abstract expressionists were older, by the time they even got a show. Now people come right out of school and sell." - Brice Marden

"Abstract art was the quivalent of poetic expression; I didn't need to use words,but colors and lines. I didn't need to belong to a language-oriented culture but to an open form of expression." - Etel Adnan

"Art bids us touch and taste and hear and see the world, and shrinks from what Blake calls mathematic form, from every abstract form, from all that is of the brain only." - William Butler Yeats

"In the abstract art of cooking, ingredients trump appliances, passion supersedes expertise, creativity triumphs over technique, spontaneity inspires invention, and wine makes even the worst culinary disaster taste delicious." - Bob Blumer

"You like it, that's all, whether it's a landscape or abstract. You like it. It hits you. You don't have to read it. The work of art-sculpture or painting-forces your eye." - Clement Greenberg

"If you look on the history of art you observe how the most popular forms trample the rest. The abstract expressionists destroyed figurative work for more than 30 years." - Mark Edward

"Abstract art was the quivalent of poetic expression; I did' need to use words,but colors and lines. I did' need to belong to a language-oriented culture but to an open form of expression." - Etel Adnan

"All good art has contained both abstract and surrealist elements, just as it has contained both classical and romantic elements - order and surprise, intellect and imagination, conscious and unconscious. BOTH SIDES of the artist's personality must play their part." - Henry Moore

"Music, the most abstract and uncanny art, is an eternal river of sound moving through time. We can free ourselves from whatever may be holding us back, and join that flowing river." - William Westney

"For me, the canvas is an abstract interpretation of a wall. It's a piece of art with its own history, one that alludes to the passage of time and to the theater of life." - Jose Parla

"[My work] looks very cinematic because it's not abstract video art. It's sometimes very narrative and since I play with film grammar in my video work, making a feature film was almost the same challenge." - Nicolas Provost

"Art comes into being in that abstract interval between a thought and reality, and no one - not even the artist who created it - can remeasure the influences that caused it." - Edgar Alwin Payne

"No nude, however abstract, should fail to arouse in the spectator some vestige of erotic feeling, even if it be only the faintest shadow - and if it does not do so it is bad art and false morals." - Kenneth Clark

"As a result of World War II, European artists migrated to America, enlarging the scene and diminishing Paris as the center. America was beginning its dominance of the art world with the emergence of the Abstract Expressionists." - Arne Glimcher

"I paint; I draw and paint - I've been doing that since I was in third grade, drawing realistically and then changing to abstract art. That was my first creative thing before guitar or comedy." - Steven Wright

"A work of art in paint should be beautiful and expressive as abstract colour and form and should not interest us necessarily in any 'story' outside of itself - or else it belongs to the field of illustration." - John F. Carlson

"I honestly believe students of painting in the next century will laugh at the abstract art movement. They will marvel at such a drawn-out regression in the plastic arts." - Richard Schmid

"Calls for the simplification of abstract or allusive art have always come from governments suspicious of artists themselves. This is why totalitarian regimes have always legislated some form of realism." - Russell Smith

"My advice to those who which to learn the art of scientific prophesy is not to rely on abstract reason, but to decipher the secret language of Nature from Nature's documents: the facts of experience." - Max Born

"Many attempts have been made by writers on art and poetry to define beauty in the abstract, to express it in the most general terms, to find some universal formula for it." - Walter Pater

"Artists with a capital 'A' are at ease working in all areas of art, whether it is a contemporary abstract painting or work requiring methods and techniques of the Renaissance Masters." - Igor Babailov

"I loved surrealism and abstract painting, and anything related to those. I always thought painting was the highest form of art. What led me to drawing was seeing so much self-important, pretentious, conceptual-type art in university. I wanted to reject that by making quick, fun art." - Neil Farber

"It's not about facts, it's about feelings. It's about remembering feelings and happiness. A definition of art is that it makes concrete our most subtle emotions. I think the highest form of art is music. It's the most abstract of all art expression." - Agnes Martin

"Is not art a tool we employ to peel the kitsch off life? Layer by layer art strips life bare. The more abstract it gets, the more transparent the air is. Can it be that the farther it is removed from life, the clearer art becomes?" - Robert Musil

"I often told the fanatics of realism that there is no such thing as realism in art: it only exists in the mind of the observer. Art is a symbol, a thing conjuring up reality in our mental image. That is why I don't see any contradiction between abstract and figurative art either." - Antoni Tapies

"Great art changes you." - Wendy Beckett

"All art requires courage." - Anne Tucker

"Art is dedicated echo." - George Sandys

"Art is communication." - Madeleine L'Engle

"Art is for everybody." - Keith Haring

"All art is exploitation." - Sherman Alexie

"Art is spiritual." - John Cusack

"Sometimes art imitates life." - Michael Douglas

"Art is competitive." - Robert Duvall

"Make good art." - Neil Gaiman

"Art is a continuum." - Daryl Hall

"Nature constantly imitates art." - Oscar Wilde

"Human intellect is incurably abstract." - C S Lewis

"Funerals are all abstract ceremony." - Chuck Palahniuk

"The abstract has no emotional content... the abstract is more powerful the more abstract it is." - Cecil Balmond

"In abstract mathematics or abstract art, the purpose is to describe inner states of our mind, and to explore the limits of our own imagination and our capacity for creativity. While this has some applications in the world, I think it leads to a distance from the world. Going to Congo was for me an act of seeking proximity, of breaking that distance. With abstraction, which is brilliant and vain, you divorce yourself from any kind of proximity to other people." - Anjan Sundaram

"It is a mistake to suppose, with some philosophers of aesthetics, that art and poetry aim to deal with the general and the abstract. This misconception has been foisted upon us by mediaeval logic. Art and poetry deal with the concrete of nature, not with separate 'particulars,' for such rows do not exist." - Ernest Fenollosa

"There are no limitations with a song. To me a song is a little piece of art. It can be whatever you like it to be. You can write the simplest song, and that's lovely, or you can just write a song that is abstract art." - Laura Nyro

"It is the transcendent (or 'abstract' or 'self-contained') nature of music that the new so called concretism-Pop Art, eighteen-hour slices-of-reality films, musique concrete-opposes. But instead of bringing art and reality closer together, the new movement merely thins out the distinction." - Igor Stravinsky

"Modern abstract art starts in Russia in about 1915 with Malevich, and then the Russian Revolution happens, and eventually all that experimental art gets squashed and social realism comes back into play. All of a sudden, Malevich is no longer painting black squares; he's painting peasants in colorful schmattas." - Robert Longo

"Art is the process of evoking pity and terror, which is not abstract at all but very human. What the self-styled modern artists are doing is a sort of unemotional pseudointellectual masturbation . . . whereas creative art is more like intercourse, in which the artist must seduce - render emotional - his audience, each time." - Robert A Heinlein

"The only thing I collect is art. I collect it because I like looking at it. A lot of it is really personal stuff that my friends have made, paintings that my husband's mother made, and things that I bought. I buy abstract art on eBay, and I buy some outsider art on eBay, or what is called folk art, I buy a lot of. I have a lot of professional art work as well as more stuff my friends' kids make. To have a wall of art to look at, I feel really surrounded by love, because so much of the work is related to my friendships." - Kathleen Hanna

"Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful" - William Shakespeare

"Art is in love with luck, and luck with art." - Agathon

"Christian art today should be twentieth-century art." - Francis Schaeffer

"Art is art when it is appreciated by someone." - Isao Tomita

"O Death, O Beyond, Thou art sweet, thou art strange!" - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"Life is sacred. Life is art. Life is sacred art." - Gabrielle Roth

"Art, art of any kind, shows that folks are trying." - Walter Kirn

"Art is not about something, Art is something" - Sarah Bernhardt

"Movies are a collective art. Art by proxy." - Sylvester Stallone

"Make life an art rather than art from life." - David Gilmour

"I think all good art is outsider art." - Scott McClanahan

"Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting." - Bible

"The art of pleasing is the art of deceiving." - Luc De Clapiers

"Art is man's nature; nature is God's art." - Philip James Bailey

"The perfection of art is to conceal art." - Quintilian

"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery." - Mark Van Doren

"Art is Art. Everything else is everything else." - Ad Reinhardt

"Art cannot be modern. Art is primordially eternal." - Egon Schiele

"The true art of memory is the art of attention." - Samuel Johnson

"I love art; I collect mostly modern art." - Alan Patricof

"Art simply can't be stopped." - Anna Deavere Smith

"Don't think about making art..." - Andy Warhol

"So. Lie there, my art." - William Shakespeare

"Intimacy is a difficult art ..." - Virginia Woolf

"Art never comes from happiness." - Chuck Palahniuk

"Industry without art is brutality." - Ananda Coomaraswamy

"Art is spirituality in drag." - Jennifer Yane

"Propaganda rarely makes good art." - Susan Sutherland Isaacs

"More matter with less art." - William Shakespeare



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